Allan Donald has joined the rapidly growing list of former internationals heading to Zimbabwe to help with the country's attempts to rebuild its international reputation and push for a return to Test cricket.

The former South African fast-bowling great will take charge of reigning domestic champions the Mountaineers for at least the forthcoming season which begins on September 6.

Donald has filled various roles as a bowling or assistant coach for Free State, Warwickshire and England since his retirement from the game in 2003 but has been frustrated in recent months by his inability to secure a full-time position. He held high hopes of landing the England bowling coach position which was filled by Australian David Saker in April this year.

"I have always wanted to move away from being a bowling specialist and become more of a head coach, and this is exactly the sort of opportunity I've been looking for," Donald told Cricinfo.

"Quite a few jobs I've applied for have asked for 'at least two or three years experience' as a head coach. It's the old chicken and egg story, how do you get the job without the experience, and how do you get the experience without a job! But now that's behind me and I can't wait to get started," Donald said.

Steve Mangongo, who coached the Mountaineers to both the four-day Logan Cup and Faithwear Metbank 50-over titles last year has relinquished the post to concentrate on dual roles as national assistant to Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher and a supervisory position at the national academy.

Donald joins former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie (Midwest Rhinos) and former England batsman Monte Lynch (Southern Rocks) as coach in Zimbabwe's domestic competitions while former Zimbabwean internationals Alistair Campbell, Heath Streak, Grant Flower and Dave Houghton are all involved at national level.

"We are still putting the finishing touches to the contract but I certainly want to do it for more than one year," Donald said. "I don't think you can prove too much in one season. And it's exciting to be part of Zimbabwe cricket's revival."

Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency